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The company that I work for is nice enough to let me use Linux for work, but they use Outlook. I've been using Outlook Web Access (OWA) as my mail client, which is more or less acceptable.

The only problem is that whenever I click on a mailto link or use the "Send Link" menu option in firefox, I'm prompted to use evolution. Since connecting to an exchange server through evolution seems to be sketchy at best, I would like to set OWA as my default mail client.

I'm using Firefox 3.6.13

Here's what I've found so far:

Default mail client can be found at

Edit Menu -> 
   Preferences -> 
      Applications Tab ->

When I click on the drop down menu, one of the options is "Application Details"

This shows two options by default:

Google Yahoo! Mail

Each of these shows how to launch that service.

For Gmail:

For Yahoo!:

I presume that Outlook Web Access has something similar. Based on the googling that I've done so far, I think that this should look something like this:

https://<server name>/owa/?cmd=compose...

A little experimentation on my part shows that the following will compose a message:

https://<email server>/owa/?ae=Item&a=New&t=IPM.Note

but I still don't know how to specify recipient, subject or body of the email to be composed...

What I want to know is

a) does anyone know the URL parameters to compose a mailto in Outlook Web Access, including subject, recipient and body?


b) can someone give me a decent pointer for where to get this information?

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Have you tried using thunderbird? – David Dec 17 '10 at 21:13
@David, how is thunderbird related to wanting mailto:links to be redirected to a web-based mail system? This answer seems somewhat off-topic for SU. – Zoredache Dec 17 '10 at 21:16
Doesn't Exchange support standard protocols such as SMTP and IMAP for email? – grawity Dec 17 '10 at 21:28
@Zoredache -- I think that David is suggesting that I use thunderbird as my default email client, then connecting to the exchange server via thunderbird. – Barton Chittenden Dec 17 '10 at 21:32
@David, @grawity, By default, Exchange does not allow SMTP and IMAP for email, and my employer has not opened these, due to security concerns. I did find a utility called 'DavMail Gateway' on SourceForge which acts as a bridge between Outlook Web Access and IMAP/SMTP/LDAP, allowing for access by Thunderbird, Evolution, iCal, etc. This is more heavy weight than I'm looking for, I'll go that way if I can't figure out how to use OWA as my default mail client directly. – Barton Chittenden Dec 17 '10 at 21:40

2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It depends on what version of owa you have. But 2007 should work by appending


which means for firefox


I found no way to give the subject. The most valuable ressource for me was

but you need to read in the code.

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Your link actually gives subject=test and body=ASDF for the subject and body respectively... so /?ae=Item&a=New&t=IPM.Note& – Barton Chittenden Apr 30 '12 at 23:25
It didn't work out for me that time, that's why I didn't include it into my answer. But if you can confirm it works, just edit my answer. – gyger May 8 '12 at 17:38

For me, the following URL worked:


Firefox will put the complete mailto: link in place of the %s and OWA will then correctly populate the subject and other fields. Source:

Also, the current Firefox version (36) does not offer a UI to edit or add web handlers for the mailto protocol. I had to add it manually in the mimeTyes.rdf file in the firefox profile folder. This file is documented here: Remember to replace your ampersands with &amp; when editing the xml.

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